Title: The Sting
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: David S. Ward
Robert Earl Jones
THE STING is another Redford-Newman collaboration with director George Roy Hill after BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969), and this time it reaped more than what it sowed, 7 Oscar winnings including BEST PICTURE and BEST DIRECTOR.
No need to say the film is intriguingly diverting, the rectitude and benevolence of grifters are bonded together with friendship, craftsmanship and camaraderie, by contrast, the police forces (including the FBI) and the greedy and shifty bankers come under the lash, and being bamboozled, which, is pertinent to strike a chord with general audience into a world of escapism and fairness.
To my surprise, the first-billed Newman has a lesser screen-time than his co-leader Redford, but his personal allure could never be underestimated, the charm is oozing from every single glance and gesture, while Redford has ample time to play his reckless but fleet-footed character to a maximum closeness with the audience (it has been his only Oscar acting nomination so far), despite of being too handsome, his larger-than-life optimism has found the right niche in the film. The supporting group is crammed with typecast roles (a crippled villain and his minions, a corrupted cop, a bunch of fellow grifters, pi-faced assassins), Robert Shaw and Eileen Brennan are superbly cast, the latter’s iron-face yet kind-hearted procuress is very much underwritten.
The score from Marvin Hamlisch is legendarily well-known, whenever co-occurring with the segment captions or transiting the tonal settings, it is smoothly catchy, like the film itself, establish itself as the paradigm of what Hollywood and motion pictures could concoct with the best brains and the technology staff, even the final twist is not that unexpected, nevertheless an anticlimax will never play out to kill off the satisfactory mood after steeping into a great piece of con game.